Friday, May 30, 2008

Ten Favorite Things

I read a blog recently where the author encouraged people to make a list of ten of their favorite things. I'm feeling inspired so here it goes:

1. Luke & Scott' laughs: I know, I know, technically that's two, but I just can't help and laugh when I hear either one of these two laugh. Luke's laugh is just too cute & Scott's, well, his can get a little carried away sometimes! :)
2. Milk Chocolate: I LOVE it! It's just so creamy and yummy-so much better than the dark chocolate.
3. Walking: Taking a nice walk on a sunny day pushing my stroller-there aren't many things better than that.
4. Apple Pie: Ever since I was a young girl (3-4), this has been one of my favorite treats, especially with a nice crumb topping! Mmmm...
5. Any Richard Paul Evans book: I heart his writing. It's pretty sentimental and always leaves me with a good feeling-must be why I own most of them! :)
6. Naps: I don't get them very often, but they're fantastic when I do!
7. Scrapbooking: Another thing that I have not done for awhile, but I hope to get back into it this summer-lots of pics, so little time!
8. Cheesy sitcoms & "Friends": (Again 2 things-I know) I grew up watching these on Nick-at-Night all of the time and as for "Friends" I can't help, but laugh whenever I get the chance to watch an episode.
9. Working with children: Sometimes it can be very frustrating, but always very rewarding!!!
10. My house: "There's no place like home." I couldn't have said it better myself!

Hope you have enjoyed my favorite things & Happy 9 month birthday Luke!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hittin' the "Beach"

Scott & I have decided to hit the beach this summer, the "South Beach Diet" that is. We're now beginning Day 3 and I can already tell that I am feeling much better & that the "cravings" are starting to subside. We've done this before, a couple of summers ago, & we've tried Weight Watchers, which does work as long as you make sure to count everything :( but we have both decided that we physically feel better on the South Beach diet (getting off the highs & lows of the blood sugar rollar coaster helps ALOT). I've read the book a couple of times front to back, but still always find something that gives me a better understanding of how it all works. We feel that we have another advantage on it as well because we HAVE done it before-we remember what mistakes we made & where we went wrong. Knowledge is the key to success in my mind, so knowing what we encountered before will hopefully help us to avoid those same mistakes again this time...& hopefully make these changes just another way of life for us!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Summertime Resolutions

I know that January 1st is the "normal" time to set resolutions, but for me I always like to think of summertime as a new beginning time. Maybe it's because I work in the school system-which means more time to work on myself during the summer months-it could be that the weather is nicer & sunnier so it is easier to get outside-or it could be that sometimes I like to be a bit different from the crowd! Anyways, here are a few of my "summer resolutions".

1. Read, Read, Read: I want to read more this summer. I realize that having a small child can hinder this sometimes, but after Luke's gone to bed for the night, one of my favorite things is to curl up on the couch with a book and just read. My goal is to read 5-6 books a month.

2.
Exercise: I have always felt better when I exercise on a regular basis, but I seem to be an expert at finding reasons not to do it. So whether it's walking (which Luke loves because it means a stroller ride), dancing around the house, or just good ole fashioned yard work, I want to make sure I get at least 15 minutes a day to begin forming this habit.

3.
Get my photos organized: I've made a good start, but I've still got a long way to go with this one. I love scrapbooking, but I need to get my photos (digital) organized on the computer, printed & into albums for my own sanity (& before Luke is 20 and I have no idea where to begin!) Another highlight will be that I can then really jump into the digital scrapbooking without the guilt of knowing that I should be working on my pictures instead!

4.
Get my house in order: I feel so much more sane, when my house is in order. My motto for this one will be "one room at a time" & if that is too overwhelming then maybe "one box/cabinet at a time". I want it to be in tip top shape before school starts back up again!!!

One step at a time will get me there with each of these resolutions & my grand hope is that if I can get these habits formed now, then they will be much easier to keep up with once the stress of a new school year begins!!! Updates coming to a computer near you soon!

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm Living with a Con Artist!

Yep, that's right-my son is officially a con artist! His sweet little smile is all just a charade to make me think he is helpless. We've been under the impression all of these months that he could not hold his bottle (oh yes, he used to try to hold it back when he was 4 months old, but he just never quite became independent). Little did we know that he is actually quite capable, but just chooses not to do it (& why should he when there's a sucker waiting on you hand & foot)! :) The last 2 weeks or so I finally made him start doing it and sure enough he could for a little while & then he'd give up, but today he gave himself away. I was changing his diaper and I have a bottle on the changing table for him to hold/play with while I get him cleaned up to keep his hands busy & out of the "messes". Well, he must have been hungry because all of a sudden he just brought it right to his mouth and started sucking (it was empty)-then he dropped it & picked it up again!!! Hmmm....how long have I been catering to him?! Now I had always hoped that I would be a mother who tries not to do "too much" for her children so that they can become independent & reach all of those wonderful milestones, but this little episode today has me wondering "what else can he do that I don't realize?" I think that I might need to reevaluate the things he's not doing, but may be able to do. Is he too young to start changing his own diapers & doing his own laundry!?! :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Are you sleepy, yet?

Sometimes it feels like my whole day revolves around when Luke sleeps (oh yeah, wait, it does!) Now I know this is not a new revelation, since he is approaching 9 months old, and it has progressed so much from the time when he was eating every 2 hours (whoever said formula babies go longer between feedings forgot to tell my son!) & we would only get an hour of sleep in between if we were lucky. Compared to those days-sleeping 11-12 hours at night & taking a couple of scheduled (sort of) naps during the day- is FABULOUS, but I still find myself sometimes looking at him and wondering Is he tired yet? Should I put him down for a nap? How long has it been-only 1/2 an hour-probably not ready for another one quite yet? :) I love playing with Luke, but I have to admit that I do love the ME time I get once he has gone down for a nap. I'm sure here in a few months when he is running around going nonstop, I'll wish I had studied hypnosis so that with a click of my fingers I can have some instant ME time. (You're getting sleepy, very sleepy...)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm Walking On Sunshine!!!

Do you remember that exhilirating feeling you had when you knew the end was near? Well that is what I am suffering from right at the moment-no I'm not dying-I'm referring to the end of another school year!!! I love working in the education field-obvious reasons-love learning/teaching, the little darlings, school related activities, but I think one of the main things is that I'm addicted to the thrill of starting anew each fall and then seeing all of the progress students have made in the spring. It's a great thing to be witness to all of that personal growth, but it is also quite mind draining and that is why it is always so exciting as summer creeps closer. (not to mention that the kids really think that they don't need to be there or work very hard after Easter! Thank God it was so early this year!!! {insert your own sarcastic voice please}) :)
I also love (most) of the things that come out of their little mouths-they're just so honest! Last year, I had a kindergartner tell me "you're high", of course, I said "What?" (she was referring to my height-I might start using that phrase more regularly!) I had a first grader this year tell me "you look like a cupcake!" (she was referring to my outfit) and I had several different students (Kindergarten-2nd graders) tell me one day this year "Wow! You're beautiful!" on the day I decided to wear my contacts instead of glasses & a skirt (I didn't realize that I must look pretty dopey the other 179 days of the school year!) How can you not love all of that, especially when they constantly remind you that they love you too and that you're the "best"! (Of course if you want to believe that they save that one just for you then you need to remember to turn a deaf ear to all of the other "I love you's" & "you're the best's" they pass out to everyone else! Ahhh summer, welcome back at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon-I've missed you friend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

That's What I Like About You!

Sometimes I just feel so blessed to finally be a "mom"! It took a while and was a long, hard road, but it is definitely the best gift I have ever received. I know that there are still a lot of people out there who are waiting to have what I have and it is very painful and I still remember that pain all too well. However, the one thing I do know is that somehow, someway everything does eventually work itself out & (although never forgotten) the pain does lessen & fade into a memory. I can never thank God enough for my "little Luke" so here's to you, son!

What I Like About You!
1. Your sweet little grin.
2. The way you can't stop giggling when you get tired...
3. and then (most of the time) don't put up a fight when we put you to bed at night.
4. How you act like you're going to crawl down off of my lap (when we both know that you still have no idea how to move around yet if you would get to the floor)
5. because for some reason you like to pull my hair (it hurts!) to give me hugs & kisses.
6. That you are still content to let me hold you & hug you for awhile
7. When you look like you are really trying to tell us something important in "baby talk"
8. How you always smile at me when I pick you up from the babysitter's...
9. or just because I walked into the room
10. That there really is no end to the list of things I could say about you!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Uses for Drool!

Like many other "new" moms before me, I have learned that a teething baby can suffer from an assortment of ailments-diaper rash, fevers, etc.-but of course the best one has to be all of the DROOL & lots of it! I got to thinking about it and it seems like such a waste to just keep wiping it up with a rag all of the time so I've come up with a list of ideas to make drool more useful! Enjoy!

Top 5 Uses for Drool!
1. Wood polisher-nothing shines up my wood floors better than wiping up drops of drool.
2. Presoaking laundry-you don't need to use as much water, since clothes are already soaked with drool (good for the environment too!)
3. Carpet Cleaner-just add a little soap to that drool saturated spot and you're carpets will look as good as new!
4. Instant bathtime!-take a dry washcloth & shampoo to baby and start wiping him down.
5. Watering houseplants-just hold baby over the potted plant and while the baby is distracted by it let the drool fall onto the plant (caution-don't let baby get close enough to eat plants-some are poisonous!)
All joking aside, it's a good thing God made babies so cute & loveable-it definitely makes it so much easier to ignore the fact that you're main job all day is to keep not only their faces dry, but their butts as well!
Happy Mother's Day!!! :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

DayDream Believer

I am definitely a believer in daydreams & fairy tales (of course not during the school day-unless it's me doing the daydreaming!) I believe in happy endings, true love & that everything happens for a reason! I believe that this "romantic" way of thinking is a big part of what makes me more of an optimistic person & has given me the ability to always try to find the good in things/people. I also think it is what has helped me get through many of my toughest times as well. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to go through life always waiting for the "bottom to fall out" or believing that bad things "just happen" to people for no rhyme or reason. One downside to being a "dreamer" is that alot of times reality may not quite measure up to my expectations, which can & does lead to being disappointed quite abit when things don't go as I've "imagined" they could. But just as I have done with everything else in my life, when one "dream" fails, I just jump back up and start "daydreaming" again and pretty soon I find myself in the middle of a new "dream" or at least a modified version of the old one. It may not be some people's ideal way of thinking/living, but it is the one that I seem to have been dealt & I wouldn't have it any other way!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head...

What a rainy day! (& me having forgot my umbrella) :( Let me tell you-there is nothing like a day where you know that as soon as you step outside, you will be soaked within seconds! Of course, the day started out like most others-look outside (oh it rained overnight-that's nice), casually watch the weather while eating breakfast/playing with Luke (obviously paying close attention to the forecast for the day), listen/nod in agreement with the husband as he says he will be working late tonight because of the rain so maybe he can do yardwork tomorrow (using my best listening skills as always) , drop Luke off at the babysitter and go to work (noting to myself that everything always looks greener after a good rain) , get to work and debate (for 2 seconds) about taking in my umbrella and then decide not to based on all of my observations that morning and the fact that it always stops raining by the time I have to go to my car! So obviously I was surprised by the fact that it rained today and not just rained, but that the water was basically dumped from the sky. As the torrents of rain fell during the day, I felt secure in the fact that it could not possibly rain that hard for that long-boy was I wrong. It just kept coming & coming (& me with no umbrella!) Now you're probably catching on to how this story goes...the end of the school day came and of course the rain had not let up (if only I had paid closer attention to the weatherman) & of course where is my parking spot-as far away as it can possibly be & of course I selected the proper footwear (knowing that it would be raining) leather sandals. It's a fabulous feeling to be running to the end of a parking lot (that doesn't drain so well-i.e. lots of puddles) in leather sandals without an umbrella! At least I did learn that my clothes are very absorbent just in case I'm ever in a situation where that might be handy! I did still have to pick up Luke, but he had a jacket so he didn't get very wet at all. I did have my umbrella by that point, but didn't even bother because I knew that my back was going to be soaked anyway due to the fact that I'm not really sure how you can hold an umbrella and get a child into a carseat at the same time (I see a lot of money in my future if I can come up with that invention!) I plan on enjoying the rest of my evening (in dry clothes) listening to the rain & paying closer attention to the weatherman tomorrow!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Calm Before the Storm

We've been having some stormy weather today, but right now it is calm. It got me to thinking about Luke and how we're probably in the "calm before the storm" phase. At this time in his life, he is really a pretty "easy" baby (& I realize that the sheer act of even putting this in print has the power to completely change that, but I'm going to risk it!) What I mean by that is he isn't really too motivated to move yet, we've sort of established a routine with eating/napping, he's content most of the time to sit & play with or without attention (depending on the day/his mood), & we're just so gosh darn happy all of the time (unless of course we've been put down for a nap then of course we have to let Mom & Dad know about it for at least 15-20 minutes or if we're ready to eat & we think that Mom &/or Dad is going to keep and enjoy that bottle for themselves!) It is such a precious time in his life and believe me-I'm savoring it! I am still anxious for him to reach each new milestone, but I fully understand what that means-the chaos will begin-he'll be on the move & there will be no stopping him or looking back! For now though I'm just going to sit back with my feet up, relax & enjoy my sedentary child for just a little while longer! It almost sounds like a vacation at the beach, doesn't it!!! :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Moment of Reflection

8 months ago yesterday, my son Luke was born. The last couple of days have been filled with several moments of reflection for me. Sometimes it seems like an eternity since that Labor Day weekend when I think about how much he has grown and all of the different things that have happened since and sometimes it feels like only yesterday. When I start remembering the details of that weekend along with the month leading up to it and all of the emotions that we felt in such a short period of time, they are such strong memories that it can almost feel as if I'm right back there in the middle of it all again. At the time I described it as our "emotional labor" since I did not undergo actual physical childbirth. I know that some people think that they could never love an adopted child as much as they love their biological child (the terms "real", "natural", etc. should be removed from the parental vocabulary-aren't all children "real" & "natural") & to those people I say "you just have NO idea!" The whole adoption process is so emotional (similar to 9 months of pregnancy) and especially if it follows infertility when a couple has been waiting for "SO LONG". Waiting & dreaming of that child for an indefinite period of time (in our case several years) as is the case with both adoption & infertility makes it all the more special when that baby is finally placed in your arms and you know that all of those dreams, wishes & prayers have finally been answered. Someone who has not been through it can only imagine (but never fully understand) what it is like or just how much you can love that child (even without a biological connection). The other thing that I now realize with even more certainty because I have had the wonderful opportunity over the last 8 months of being Luke's mom is what a sacrifice it is for a birthmom to choose not to parent a child. I know without a doubt that I could never do it! I may not have understood all of her life choices, I may not have completely understood her emotions at the time, I may not have agreed with how she was conducting herself, I may not have agreed with how her family interacted with & treated each other, but I will always agree with Luke's birthmom about the fact that deep down she knew that she was making a HUGE difference in his life for the better by letting us raise him and that the hardest thing she ever had to do ended up making all of our dreams come true!